The Minnesota Wild have found themselves in a tricky spot for several seasons now. The team doesn’t exactly have the build of a contender, nor is it bad enough to end up in the Draft Lottery.
Maybe this year though, the Minnesota Wild need to take a step back from maintaining one of the league’s longer consecutive play-off appearance streaks and let the Draft Lottery hopefully offer a bright new star to build around.
The team’s recent form suggests that although they are still trying to maintain their wild-card spot and a faint hope of scraping into the play-offs, where as everyone says – anything can happen. Reality is that the Minnesota Wild, should they qualify, are in all likelihood going to find themselves bundled out in the first round.
In the past 10 games, the Wild have been on the losing side 8 times; meanwhile the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, both divisional rivals of theirs, have been charging through their opposition.
Maybe there is a point where Minnesota Wild General Manager, Paul Fenton has to look at the remaining fixtures, look at the line-up he has, what with the injuries to Matt Dumba and captain Mikko Koivu, and decide that painful as it is, this year isn’t going to be the year.
Making the play-offs will mean the Wild don’t draft very high and thus don’t necessarily add a top-end talent that can prove to be a game-changer for them. Drafting closer to the number one spot and the prize of Jack Hughes would be an absolute Godsend for the franchise.
Of course, we’re dreaming to think that they’ll fade out that badly that Hughes is a real option, but anywhere in the top five or six wouldn’t be a bad draft pick to be making.
There comes a point where repeating the same sequence; making the play-offs, going out first round needs to be fixed. That can only be fixed by adding some new talent – whether by the draft or the trade market.
Frankly the trades that Fenton has made thus far haven’t exactly set the world on fire; as much as you might defend shipping Nino Niederreiter out-of-town; Victor Rask is hardly looking to be a comparable.
Making the play-offs for another year won’t help the Minnesota Wild in the slightest. As much as it may hurt, they need to consider how high they can potentially draft.